In order to save the tigers in Ranthambhore, they had to relocate a number of villages when the national park – the tiger sanctuary – was created in district Sawai Madhopur. Dastkar Ranthambhore works with the women in these villages to help identify their marketable skills and talents – embroidery, sewing, stitchery etc – and assists them with creating new streams of income, bank accounts, informal microloan circles, literacy and ultimately independence. Seen here with me is Ujwala Jodha who is the administrator, manager, designer, overseer, handholder and the force behind the cooperative at the Dastkar Ranthambhore.
Read the reasons to buy at the Dastkar Ranthambhore outlet. They answer all your questions about the aim and mission of this cooperative venture.
Three of the ladies shyly pretending that we aren’t wandering around their little village eyeing them at their craft. If you’re a designer and you’re planning to visit India, stop by, see the tigers but also give them some design input while you’re there. They’ve been working with designers from all over India but I believe that they have the skills and capacity to create beautiful contemporary designs that could be showcased anywhere in the world. As Ujwala says, they have the talent, all they need is a little direction.
Some of their finished pieces on display for sale. David picked up a lovely fuschia one with dangling shiny things for his daughter to take back with him to South Africa. Maybe this model could work there to revive indigenous textile handicrafts ?
This is their common room which also serves as a community room for the womenfolk of the surrounding villages. I’ll try to have snippets of their work and stories up next week, I’ve only got a hard copy and a CD of the BBC World movie made on them at the moment. This room is also used for basic literacy classes, simple book keeping and small business management lessons. They need a website with a catalogue and shopping cart desperately in order to expand their market beyond visitors to this village. If anyone would like to offer their time for this project please email me for details.